Monday, September 24, 2007


Today started just fine. It was a usual Monday, busy but not overwhelming. I still had the weekend on my mind. So I was generally just feeling easy. I got through a morning meeting, a practice session for a thesis defense of one of my graduate students, work on an upcoming broadcast to students on estuaries and other general stuff.

After work I went to a meeting. Because there weren't enough people at the Al-Anon meeting, a couple of us went next door to the AA meeting. I've been to this group before when there weren't enough at the Al-Anon meeting. The meetings are next door to each other at a country church and there usually aren't too many in attendance at either meeting.

Tonight there were a few people that I'd seen before and then a new fellow came in. He had just gotten out of treatment and had found a meeting. He said that he got out of treatment on Friday and that he was wanting to change his life. Unfortunately, he smelled of alcohol and had the glazed look of someone who knocked back a few recently. This was his first AA meeting and he didn't understand what Al-Anoners were doing at the AA meeting. He talked a lot about how he wasn't going to go down the road that he had been down with drinking. He said that his son put a bottle of tequila near him just to see if he would want to drink. He picked up a white chip and seemed pleased with himself. I felt sick.

Listening to him and smelling alcohol on him brought back to me the weekends of my childhood when my father would smell of alcohol and expound in a drunken slur on a variety of things. The new man's presence was a trigger for me and I could feel the anxiety and fear creeping in. I felt ill at ease and unsettled. On the way home, I decided that I still react to the smell of alcohol. It's a trigger that brings up those days from childhood. Once I realized why I was feeling so anxious, I was able to do something about it. I still am a bit unsettled but I think that the best thing for me is to sleep at this point. Tomorrow is another day.


  1. Interesting.
    More insight to how much I don't understand.

  2. do you think those triggers will ever completely go away? i doubt it. the smell of alcohol on someone still has the ability to tie my stomach in a knot. this comes as much from my dad's drinking as from me trying to hide my breath when i was still drinking. even now, if hubby has a drink or two, i find myself getting uptight. i'm not sure exactly why, but i do...

    but you know it for what it is, a trigger, and dealing with that should eventually lessen the impact. right? i hope so....

  3. Trigger is a powerful word. Being aware is half the battle.

  4. Was it the smell or was it the behaviour? It sounds like both to me. Sounds like this was an example where the 2 meetings didn't mix well.

  5. I do not like that unsettled feeling. It's hard to shake. It's a good thing you have some "time" in the program, so you know the steps to take to get your balance back. My husband drinks, and the smell does not bother me at all, but the pontificating on idiot subjects.....makes me uncomfortable.

  6. yep, as you know I have also found out that I have some strange triggers. I wonder if they will ever be neutralized?

  7. Oh Syd I am sorry you have to experience something like this. It hurts my heart and reminds me a lot of my relationship with my qualified Al-Anon. I have been horribly ill and dragging him into this mess of self.

    Thank you for this share. It is truthful and offers some enlightment to what others go through from the affects of alcohol.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.